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Federal Government Addresses Accountable Care Organizations and Requests Comments

04.01.11

In a cross-agency effort, today the federal government outlined proposed actions relating to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a key component of the healthcare reform legislation (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) enacted in March 2010:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly issued proposed rules implementing section 3022 of ACA regarding ACOs and requested comments, which are due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
  • CMS and the HHS Office of the Inspector General jointly released a notice requesting public comments (due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register) on waivers of certain Federal laws, including the Stark (physician self-referral) law, the anti-kickback statute, and certain provisions of the civil monetary penalty laws with respect to financial relationships for organizations operating as ACOs.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a proposed statement on enforcement of antitrust laws relating to ACOs and requested comments, which must be received by May 31, 2011.
  • The IRS issued a notice on the need for guidance by tax-exempt organizations wishing to participate in an ACO and requested comments, which must be received by May 31, 2011.

Waller Lansden expects to publish additional information relating to ACOs and will continue to monitor developments regarding ACOs. If you have any questions regarding ACOs, please contact David Head, Nora Liggett, Kim Harvey Looney or any member of Waller Lansden's Healthcare Department at 800-487-6380.